Israel Orders Two Palestinian Children in for Questioning

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A Palestinian protester holds stones during clashes with Israeli Occupation Forces following Friday prayers on February 13, 2015, at the Aida refugee camp, near the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem. AFP/Mousa al-Shaer

Published Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) broke into a Palestinian home in the al-Tur neighborhood of annexed East Jerusalem and demanded that two Palestinian children be sent to an Israeli police station for questioning.

The boys' father Arafat Abu Sbeitan told Ma'an news agency that Israeli troops wanted to arrest his sons Mohammed, 12, and Ibrahim, 10, but he refused to turn the boys in.

He told the soldiers that Mohammed was recently bitten by a dog and that Ibrahim wasn’t feeling well as he has recently undergone eye surgery. The soldiers then ordered Abu Sbeitan to bring his sons to the station for questioning as soon as possible.

"The occupation soldiers forced me to wake my sons up so they can make sure that there was a sign of a dog bite on Mohammed's hand. They then took photos of the boys and handed me a warrant demanding that I bring them to the Russian Compound police station for questioning."

The IOF have detained more than 20 children and teenagers from al-Tur since the beginning of February accusing them of different charges including manufacturing improvised weapons and devices that could be used against Israeli soldiers.

Furthermore, Israeli troops and police officers deploy in the neighborhood on daily basis, inspecting vehicles and pedestrians especially near schools.

According to the UN children's fund (UNICEF), over the past decade, Israel has detained "an average of two children each day."

Rights group Defense for Children International Palestine, however, estimates Israeli forces arrest about 1,000 children every year in the occupied West Bank, often on charges of stone-throwing.

Last week, a 14-year-old Palestinian girl was freed after serving a 45-day sentence in Israeli prisons.

Malak al-Khatib, from the occupied West Bank town of Beitin near Ramallah, was arrested in December and sentenced to two months in jail after being charged with stone-throwing and possession of a knife. She was also fined 6,000 shekels ($1,500).

The Prisoners' Club estimates that of 200 Palestinian minors in Israeli prisons, only four are female and Malak was the youngest.

The Ramallah-based Ahrar Center for Prisoners' Studies and Human Rights had said Malak was considered the youngest prisoner currently serving a sentence in Israeli jails.

In its 2013 report, UNICEF added that Israel was the only country in the world where children were "systematically tried" in military courts and gave evidence of practices it said were "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment."

The Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights said Israeli forces arrested nearly 3,000 Palestinian children from the beginning of 2010 to mid-2014, the majority of them between the ages of 12 and 15 years old.

It also documented dozens of video recorded testimonies of children arrested during the first months of 2014, pointing out that 75 percent of the detained children are subjected to physical torture and 25 percent faced military trials.

Israeli demolitions

Meanwhile on Tuesday, bulldozers escorted by Israeli military vehicles tore down a wall in a tract of land owned by Mohammed Abu al-Hawa in al-Tur under the pretext that the land was designated as green space. The family told Ma'an that the three-year-old wall was demolished without prior notice.

More than 20,000 Palestinian homes in Jerusalem have been shortlisted to be demolished by the IOF, the Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights (JCSER) revealed on Saturday.

The center’s head, Ziad Hamouri, said that the reason these homes have been shortlisted for demolition was that they were built without building licences issued by the Israeli municipality.

Israel rarely grants construction permits to Palestinians in annexed East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank, including in Area C, which amounts to 80 percent of the total land area. It then regularly demolishes Palestinian structures, leaving hundreds homeless.

In 2014, Israel demolished more than 543 Palestinian structures and displaced at least 1,266 people in West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).

In May, the European Union missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah urged Israel to halt home demolitions in Area C of the occupied West Bank, describing such actions as "forced transfer of population."

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions estimates that Israeli authorities have demolished about 27,000 Palestinian structures in the West Bank since 1967.

Moreover, the IOF raided the “Jerusalem Gate” protest tents near the Abu Dis area in annexed East Jerusalem for the eighth time.

The protest camp was set up by Palestinian activists to express opposition to Israeli plans to expulse Bedouins living in an area near East Jerusalem designated as E1 by Israel and relocate them to the West Bank, as part of a plan to expand illegal Zionist settlements in the area.

Construction in E1 would divide the West Bank and make the creation of a contiguous Palestinian state, as envisaged by the internationally backed two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, almost impossible.

The protest camp site was set up last week by Palestinian activists and local Abu Dis residents to demonstrate against another Israeli plan to expel up to 40,000 Bedouins from the Negev desert in Occupied Palestine.

The roots of the Israel-Palestine conflict date back to 1917, when the British government, in the now-infamous Balfour Declaration, called for "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."

Jewish immigration rose considerably under the British administration of Palestine, which was consolidated by a League of Nations "mandate" in 1922.

In 1948, with the end of the mandate, a new state — Israel — was declared inside historical Palestine.

As a result, some 700,000 Palestinians fled their homes, or were forcibly expelled, while hundreds of Palestinian villages and cities were razed to the ground by invading Zionist forces.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Zionist state — a move never recognized by the international community.

Palestinians with Israeli citizenship complain of routine discrimination, particularly in housing, land access and employment.

There are about 260,000 Bedouin in historical Palestine, mostly living in and around the Negev in the arid south.

The Israeli government classifies approximately 40 villages in the Negev desert as "unrecognized," arguing that the roughly 53,000 Palestinian Bedouins living there cannot prove their ownership of the land and are hence living there “illegally.”

(Ma’an, Al-Akhbar)

Comments

Do not expect anything less from the IOF psychopathic murderous genocidal kings!

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